Do you have hope while waiting in silence? Or do you wonder if what you hoped for is worth it, and hope slips away?
Throughout centuries, God’s people waited in hope for redemption. Some lost hope, yet others hung onto it.
At the close of the Old Testament, God hadn’t spoken through any prophet for four hundred years. The people wondered if the prophecies of redemption were true. Four hundred years of waiting and going through life without hope.
God broke the silence with the angel’s announcement to Zechariah and to unsuspecting Mary, revealing God’s plan for the
Savior. Through Jesus, God would bring the world back into relationship with Him. The culture expected something different—perhaps a military take-over of the Roman Empire.
Each person in the Advent narrative faced life challenges, yet each trusted God with hope.
Zechariah was startled with the news of the coming birth of John. He served as priest when the angel spoke to him about having a child who would be a forerunner to the savior, breaking the four-hundred-year silence. For the first time, he had hope to be a father. In fact, he was made speechless by the angel. Elizabeth also anticipate finally holding her own baby (Luke 1:8-20) who was the forerunner to Jesus.
Mary surrendered to God’s plan with a humble heart. She visited Elizabeth with secret hope and discovered joy when the baby leapt in within her. She praised God for being a part of His plan. (Luke 2:30-56).
The scared shepherds received the angel’s announcement and responded with hope as they made their way across the fields to find the child. Their hope was fulfilled in Jesus. (Luke 2:8-20).
Simeon, who believed he would not see death before he saw the Messiah, praised God when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus into the temple. Simeon recognized the hope of salvation (Luke 2:29-32).
The aged widow Anna served God in the temple and thanked God when she saw Jesus’ family. She began to speak about God to all who were looking forward with hope to the redemption of Jerusalem (Luke 2:36-38).
Hope awakened in each person in spite of the changes and challenges.
They looked to God for something greater than their situation. Zechariah, Mary, the shepherds, Simeon, and didn’t know how the plan fit together, but each looked forward with faith and hope.
After four hundred years of silence, God had not forgotten his promise. His rescue plan for the world went forward.
There is hope for us in our challenges.
The last few years have brought many challenges to us at different levels, with the pandemic, economic uncertainty, and cultural changes that are outside of our control.
Has your hope run out? Have you hoped for something to go one way, only to have the situation fall through or be drastically changed?
God’s plan will prevail. Hope broke through the silence with Jesus’s birth. Today he offers hope for us when we look to him.
Psalm 65:5 encourages us to to look to God our savior.
“You answer us with awesome and righteous deeds, God our Savior, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.”
The lyrics of “Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus” expresses the longing and hope for a savior. Jesus came. His unwavering hope can break through silence for us today.
May you bring your fears to the Lord, where His hope can break through the silence.